Saturday, November 28, 2015

News Feed Comments

Book review: Science Research Writing for Non-Native Speakers of English

October 9, 2015   Filed under Blog, Featured, Publishing, Writing  

When I wrote Eloquent Science, the most difficult chapter to write was the one for non-native English speakers. Growing up a native English speaker, I felt that I couldn’t offer much about how to help non-native speakers write better. But, I strongly felt that the book needed to say something to this audience. The books […]

Book review: Designing Science Presentations: A Visual Guide to Figures, Papers, Slides, Posters, and More

Here is another in my series of reviews for books that I read a while ago and were sitting on my desk waiting for the time to write the review. This review is of Matt Carter’s Designing Science Presentations: A Visual Guide to Figures, Papers, Slides, Posters, and More. Outside of my own book, I’ve […]

Book Review: Trees, maps, and theorems: Effective communication for rational minds by Jean-luc Duomont

August 4, 2015   Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing  

I got a copy of Jean-luc Doumont’s Trees, Maps, and Theorems Effective Communication for Rational Minds a long time ago, and read it almost immediately. I’ve been meaning to write a review for a long time. With the annual office clean before the new semester starts, this gives me a perfect opportunity to do so. […]

Responding to Reviewers: It’s the way you say it

August 3, 2015   Filed under Blog, Featured, Publishing, Reviewing, Writing  

Nature Methods has a few nice links over on their page about responding to criticism before and after publication. The way you say it The dos and don’ts of communicating with editors and reviewers Here are some of the choice quotes from the first link that I related to, from my experience as an author […]

Why the first letter of your last name matters

July 21, 2015   Filed under Blog, Featured, Potpourri, Writing  

Sent from frequent reader and commenter Jon Zeitler: When individuals make choices from lists, does the list ordering matter? There may be a ‘primacy effect’, where individuals are biased towards selecting items earlier in the list. Conversely, there may be a ‘recency effect’, i.e. a tendency to select items towards the end of the […]

New resource for teaching students how to find, read, and use the literature

April 15, 2015   Filed under Blog, Featured, Resources, Writing  

The UK Higher Education Academy just published our second report in the series How to Succeed at University in GEES Disciplines: Enhancing your Information Literacy Skills. (GEES is Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences.) I wrote this with coauthor Rich Waller at Keele University. Contents include finding and assessing scientific literature, critical reading, citing sources and […]

The Importance of Thinking Before Writing

March 21, 2015   Filed under Blog, Featured, Publishing, Writing  

I was helping a student with a paper he was writing. He said a lot of interesting things, just not being very effective at what he was trying to convey. Here was my advice to him. If you can write down 1–3 bulleted sentences that convey your principal results or points that you want to […]

Advice to writers: Treat it like teaching

January 30, 2015   Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing  

While helping a student write a particularly challenging chapter in his dissertation, it occurred to me that one piece of advice that may help him is to treat his writing like teaching. Imagine, if instead of communicating your science through a written report, you had to teach your ideas to students who had not seen […]

Why you need to read your page proofs carefully…

January 15, 2015   Filed under Blog, Featured, Humor, Writing  


Damn the tildes and full speed ahead!

December 16, 2014   Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing  

Reader Matt Bunkers raised the issue of the tilde (~) in scientific writing. Some use it for “proportional to”. Others use it for “order of magnitude”. Still others use it for “approximately”. Given the wide variety of uses for the tilde, why not just write out what you mean? Doing so will make your writing […]

Next Page »